There are many shades of Mage in this current Hearthstone standard format. The previously mentioned Control Mage and Freeze Mage harnessed the power of Ice Block and Ice Barrier to set up a critical mass of burn spells, Alexstrasa, or a solid enough board state to attain victory. Freeze Mage would vary with harder control options, where Control Mage, funny enough, would have a sharper curve, filled with aggressive threats early—like the ever potent Mana Wyrm—and uses the burn in the deck to bat cleanup, finishing off what the aggressive portion started. Inversely, you can morph your control shell into a tempo finish once your opponent has run out of major resources. It all depends on your draws, and the game’s trajectory.

With Secret Mage, however, the entire script is flipped. The deck thrives on the unknown. It thrives on the element of misdirection. Roping your opponent into a line they’re forced to make, only to punish that line for maximum advantage. It’ll pressure you at just the right angles, until it can break a specific part. When it does, the snowball effect occurs at such a ridiculously fast rate that you couldn’t hope to keep up.

The longer the game goes, the tighter the grip becomes with forced plays. If that Lightning Storm is your only way out of their pressure, better hope that secret isn’t a Counterspell. If you need that Medivh to get you some extra minions down the line, that Mirror Entity may keep the pressure going in one swing.

Secret Mage borrows many of the lines, strategies, and gameplans from Tempo Mages decks of Standard’s past. While you can’t rely on the free-win plan of Flamewaker, the secret package is a more than suitable replacement, especially in a format featuring decks that hinge on a single card to turn the tide. Arcanologist and Primordial Glyph are two of the best cards in Standard, and for good reason. Being able to turn a clunky hand or an iffy mulligan into a consistent, streamlined curve is very strong. Medivh’s Valet is a solid mid-game filler that alleviates the strain on your Frostbolts needing to go face to get your opponent in burn range, and doubles as a solid body that will trade up with Hydrologists and other Murlocs.

The featured card that hasn’t gotten a lot of praise lately is Pyros. At first glance, it isn’t very impressive, but the card fills a ton of holes that Tempo decks, even those in the past, have suffered from curve gaps and lack of board presence at times. Pyros gives you a lot of that, at multiple points in the curve. The card will never be an all star, but it’ll always be the supporting player, which is perfectly fine in a format where there are too many all stars, and nothing to back them up.

Lastly, there’s Kabal Crystal Runner. While this card isn’t as good as Pyros, it fills in gaps that your hand can’t cover. If you’re heavy on secrets, it becomes early pressure, if you’ve been playing a ton of early drops, it’s the midgame big body. Having cards like these supporting the backbone of your primary strategy is a huge plus in this deck.

I’ve piloted this deck to a rank three finish, starting the week before the season ended, and I’d highly recommend this for your legend climb. The deck is incredibly high powered, and can push flimsy and lower tier decks out by its sheer raw offense.

Anthony has been competing in games for the better part of his adult life and is dedicated to improving his game, improving his community, improving himself as a person, and most importantly having fun and enjoying himself while doing so. You can check out his stream to find out which video game is the latest to catch his attention.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.